How Does Obesity Threaten Health?

Obese individuals are often caught in a downward spiral of declining health and well-being by obesity-related conditions (aka, "comorbidities") that include:

  • Cardiovascular disease, including sudden death, stroke, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Pulmonary complications, including sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and functional syndromes that dramatically limit activity due to a combination of restrictive lung disease in combination with deconditioning and the increased oxygen demand created by excess weight
  • Musculoskeletal problems, including degenerative joint and disc disease, and gout
  • Chronic venous insufficiency and leg ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease, liver and gallbladder disease
  • Psychosocial problems such as depression, poor self-esteem, and isolation, all leading to diminished work performance and quality of life
  • Reproductive abnormalities and infertility.

Most, if not all, of these health risk factors can be improved or eliminated by weight loss. While many of the medical complications of obesity can also occur at lower weights, the frequency of these problems increases dramatically as weight increases. For example, the severely obese (BMI > 60) have a 12-fold greater risk of dying before age 45 than do their normal weight counterparts.






Sleep Apnea




Cardiovascular Disease

Psychosocial problems




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